Have you ever had the feeling that maybe it’s just better if you do it on your own? Well, that is exactly what David Ivar - aka Black Yaya - is doing. Having previously been within the French group Herman Dune, Ivar has decided to go it alone. However, rather than simply trotting out a solo album based on the success of the former group, Ivar decided he wanted to really go it alone.
This includes doing everything himself, from the recording methods as well as all the instruments on this album. I guess when some people decide they want to do it their own way, they really mean it.
The outcome is a wonderful album stripped bare and full of freedom and creativity. You get the feeling that Ivar has been released from the constraints of his previous work and is speaking and sounding exactly how he wants to. He illustrates this point perfectly in the wonderful track ‘Watchmen’, it’s so laid back it’s horizontal, yet your ears are drawn ever closer to the soothing sound of his voice and the light yet complex melody. Apparently the track is derived from Ivar’s love of the comic book of the same name. His music certainly feels like he is responding to his influences, this is evident in his production methods. His stripped back sound is a result of personal experimentation with a variety of recording techniques, such as old four track tape recorders. This sudden freedom he has found is again visible on the beautiful track ‘Through the Deep Night’. The dual narrative of vocals and harmonica creates a wonderful uplifting sun kissed track, the whole album was recorded in the California sun after all.
The idea of a recording studio on a California beachfront, where you get to record what you want and play every instrument yourself sounds almost too good to be true. However, the whole solo endeavour that Ivar embarked on has clearly proved fruitful. The opening album track ‘Flying a Rocket’ best emphasises this, which is comprised of laid back grooves and slightly stripped bare vocals which are distorted through basic microphone techniques. It sounds like Ivar was clearly enjoying himself and we are the lucky recipients of his work. The album has been constructed without the time pressures that a studio album can have. It’s a wonderfully laid back, yet funky and interesting album, which deserves a spot on your playlist for a long time yet.